Friday, October 16, 2009

Painting the Barn

Daniel announced yesterday that he was an excellent painter. Not sure where that came from, but sure pal, whatever you say. I mentioned he was about 15 years too late, though, because Opa would have surely appreciated his talent.

My father died with Alzheimer's Disease early in 2002. He had been living in a full care facility for 5 years, but the disease struck him long, long before that. Probably earlier than any of us recognized, in fact.

I related to Daniel a conversation I'd had with my mother in the mid 90s. Dad had retired a few years previous, and was kicking around, looking for things to do. Mom was happy to let him mess around with any projects that would keep him distracted and out of her hair. When he was unoccupied, he became paranoid, and when he became paranoid, he became very, very unreasonable. So any job, truly ANY job, was a good job that he needed to devote himself to fully. He decided that the barn needed painting. He rounded up every can, full or partial, of every paint he could find - interior, exterior, oil, latex, stain, polyurethane, didn't matter. He got a chair and a brush, and he set off to paint the barn. Whatever colour he had, as high as he could reach standing on his chair. Mom said it took him a full week to use up all the paint he had.

I wish I had a picture, I'll bet it was a sight to see. And since some of those paints probably dated from the orange/avocado/gold 70s, I'll bet seeing it, even from a great distance, was no problem at all.


Zazzu said...

Wait - he painted the outside of the barn all those different colors and nobody took a picture of it? That's the sort of thing you want for posterity. I'll bet it looked amazing.

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

I too am amazed no on took a picture! Have you Googled it? It's probably on flickr!

Dorothy said...

I'm so sure there is no picture. My mom was just trying to maintain her own sanity, living fairly isolated in the country with a husband who went from angry and confused to paranoid and delusional without much warning.

The area and the time, and the mindset of those who lived there then were really not such that taking a picture would have even been a thought. If one ever surfaces, I'll get a copy and post it, but I really, really doubt one exists.

Mom sold that house 8 years ago, and the new owners renovated the barn (and then covered it with NASCAR decals, apparently.) I'm sure they didn't appreciate Dad's art either.

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

oh and decals are better? hah! maybe they took before and after pix...LOL

Dorothy said...

Well, even if they did take pics, they split up, she moved out, he got foreclosed on... and the new owners have painted everything a tasteful shade of grey. yawn... Probably the picture in my head was better than reality anyway.